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As the world mourns the death of Michael Jackson, we remember his patented anti-gravity footwear.
That’s right, intellectual property fans, Jackson is listed as the first of three inventors on United States Patent 5,255,452, granted in 1993 for a “method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion.”
Translation: special loafers fitted with heels that can slot into the stage floor to allow the wearer to lean forward, Smooth Criminal style, at gravity-defying angles.
Jackson co-developed the technique as an improvement upon a previous method in which he and his dancers were rigged up with harnesses and cables.
This worked fine for videos, notes the patent in the required “description of the prior art,” but not in front of a live audience. The shoe-based system has the added advantage of “permitting an entertainer to freely move about a stage.”
Photo by MediaBistro.